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FishLover61 02-16-2013 12:23 PM

Planted Tank Lighting Suggestions
Hi, I've got a 46 gal bowfront Marineland tank. It is almost at the end of the cycle and everything seems to be doing well. I have several artificial plants across the back using them as a background and they look pretty good. I'm beginning to add live plants for natural beauty and to do what plants do in aquariums. My tank came with a Marineland LED light which, I understand, isn't helpful to plants. I am wanting to add a extra light to assist with my plants that I have and want to get and dont' want to spend a arm & leg.

Would a 24" (or longer) strip florescent light with a full spectrum bulb do the job? Any suggestions and or links to what I need to buy would be greatly appreciated!

Here's a link to the kind of light I currently have:


Aurie 02-17-2013 04:04 AM

I also have a 46 gallon bowfront. I know it's not an aqueon because i bought a new glass lid and the front bow was different. It might be marineland. I can't comment on the "type" of light to get, but you'll want to look for 36" not 24"

Think about the types of plants you want to grow. I personally try to shoot for "moderate" light cause it's easier to adjust to high or low after you hit that spot. My tank was once a salt tank and it was given to me as a christmas gift (some guy my husband worked with gave it to us free) and it came with the Coralife 2 bulb high output and I know if I use it I'll want to probably run co2.

If you're looking at staying low tech, You can't go wrong with the standard 36" aqueon strip light if you have a glass hood for it to sit on. You can then get a nice T8 bulb to get it to sit in. This fixture runs like $40 at petsmart/petco but I'm sure if you don't mind a little DIY you could get something cheaper at home depot. A fish store by my house has a 36" dual t8 that aqueon used to sell. But they want $100 for it :evil:

Byron 02-17-2013 01:57 PM

I've no experience with LED lighting. But I have read that the MArineland Double Bright system will work for most plants. I'm sure this was discussed in one or more threads within the last couple of weeks.

If you decide on regular fluorescent (tube), a single T8 will not provide much benefit. How long is the tank, and how deep?


Aurie 02-18-2013 05:15 AM

byron it's 36 from side to side and like 24ish deep. It's like a 30 gallon but taller.

Byron 02-18-2013 12:18 PM

If it were me, I would replace the existing fixture rather than adding more. The logistics of more fixtures would bother me.

For that size tank, I would suggest two T8 tubes (the tubes themselves being 30 inches). Or a single tube (30 inches) T5 HO.

The Double Bright Marineland LED might work, again I've no experience with this.

FishyFishy89 02-18-2013 03:02 PM

2 florescent tubes that are atleast 6,500k will work just fine. Plants add a natural look to your aquarium and help remove harmful by products such as ammonia.
I also would change out the original fixture for a light hood/put the fluorescent bulbs in there. You can purchase one at PetsMart: Freshwater Aquarium Lighting » Aqueon® Freshwater T5 Light Fixture | PetSmart you would be getting the 36" one. And fluorescent tube that is T5 and atleast 6,500k will work for any of the plants you purchase at pet stores.

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